Post-Op Diet Phases

These are some of the dietary guidelines you will be expected to follow after your weight loss surgery. You will receive more detailed information from your dietician and doctor throughout the weight loss surgery process.

Phase One: Clear Liquids

  • You will be on a Phase One diet the day of surgery.
  • Phase One consists of sugar-free clear liquids and   Jell-O, water and broths
  • No sugar, caffeine, or carbonated beverages should be consumed during Phase One or Phase Two of the diet. These will cause unpleasant side effects and may also cause complications.
  • Although efforts are made to prevent errors, it is possible that you could be given the wrong food tray while in the hospital.  Even if presented with solid food while in the hospital, please make your nurse aware that you were given the wrong tray.
  • Once Phase One is tolerated without any difficulty, you will be advanced to Phase Two.
  • Phase Two consists of pureed or fully blenderized food and thicker liquids. Examples of thicker liquids include foods such as skim milk, thicker low fat soups, and skim soy beverages.  The pureed or blenderized foods should be the consistency of a thick liquid (no chunks or solid material), such as applesauce. 
  • You may need to temporarily supplement your diet with a protein liquid, so that you consume a total of 60-70 grams of protein per day.  These supplements should only be used temporarily for patients that are unable to reach their protein requirements in the early post-operative phase.  Ultimately, you should be able to obtain your protein requirements without supplements.
  • The same rules apply as above in phase 1 – no sugar, caffeine or carbonated beverages.
  • Try new foods cautiously – some foods that you could eat before surgery may not be tolerated after surgery.
  • Gastric Bypass and Sleeve gastrectomy: You will stay on a Phase Two or pureed diet for one month.  The new pouch needs time to heal and a Phase Two diet helps prevent staple line leakage.  Additionally, patients that have tried to advance their diets prematurely have reported significant discomfort and nausea.  Gastric Banding:  You will stay on a Phase Two or pureed diet for three weeks.
  • We will help provide you with creative recipes.
  • After Phase Two is tolerated for 4 weeks, gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy patients will be advanced to a soft diet. You should only advance to beyond a Phase Two diet after receiving instructions and permission from your doctor. Gastric Banding patients will progress to Phase Three after three weeks of Phase Two.
  • Meals should be composed of 75 percent protein and minimal amounts of carbohydrates and fats. 
  • Read labels to determine how many proteins, fats and calories each food contains and how those calories are broken down.
  • Soft foods are things such as eggs (soft boiled or scrambled), tofu, low-fat cottage cheese, stewed chicken, well-cooked veggies, baked fish, soft fruits and sugar-free low-fat yogurt.  Take very small bites and eat slowly.  These should be chewed until they are a liquid or blenderized consistency.  You are essentially replacing your blender with your mouth.
  • Phase Two was defined by foods that you generally eat with a spoon and Phase Three is generally defined by foods that you could eat with a fork (but without a knife).
  • Once you feel yourself getting full, you should stop eating and not resume eating anything other than a liquid until the next mealtime. Anytime you eat anything liquid/blenderized/soft/solid with calories, it counts as one of your meals.
  • Never drink liquids with your meals.
  • If you have required a protein supplement during Phase Two, you should begin to become less dependent as your eating tolerance improves.
  • After 12 weeks, gastric bypass and sleeve gastrectomy patients will be advanced to Phase Four solid foods. Gastric banding patients will be advanced to Phase Four after 8-10 weeks.
  • Only three to four meals per day.  Eat until you begin to feel full or have eaten a cup of food and then stop. Do not eat anything solid/blenderized/soft again until your next meal time.
  • The best foods to eat are fish (tuna, salmon, halibut), skinless/boneless chicken, and turkey.  These have a high protein content.
  • It is in your best interest to avoid rice, potatoes and bread.  Continue to focus on consuming protein and stay away from carbohydrates and fats
  • Avoid high fat condiments like mayonnaise and butter. You may eat other condiments, but beware of using too much ketchup since it has a high sugar content and can cause dumping syndrome.
  • Never drink liquids with your meals.
  • You must continue to drink 48 to 64 oz of liquids per day – do this only between meals.  
  • Avoid eating within two to three hours of going to bed